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Observations of bloater vertical migration showed a limit to the vertical depth changes that bloater experience. In this paper, we conducted an analysis of maximum differences in pressure encountered by bloater during vertical migration. Throughout the bottom depths studied, bloater experienced maximum reductions in swim bladder volume equal to approximately 50-60% of the volume in midwater. The analysis indicated that the limit in vertical depth change may be related to a maximum level of positive or negative buoyancy for which bloater can compensate using alternative mechanisms such as hydrodynamic lift. Bloater may be limited in the extent of migration by either their depth of neutral buoyancy or the distance above the depth of neutral buoyancy at which they can still maintain their position in the water column. Although a migration limit for the bloater population was evident, individual distances of migration varied at each site. These variations in migration distances may indicate differences in depths of neutral buoyancy within the population. However, in spite of these variations, the strong correlation between shallowest depths of migration and swim bladder volume reduction across depths provides evidence that hydrostatic pressure limits the extent of daily vertical movement in bloater.
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Pressure as a limit to bloater (Coregonus hoyi) vertical migration